Delayed flights. Canceled trains. Bumper to bumper traffic. While I’m very excited to spend time with family these next few months, I’m not looking forward to the turmoil that’ll likely come with holiday traveling. I like to think I travel well, too—packing light but still packing for any disturbance that might come up. Whether the journey runs smoothly or not, I find that having a good audiobook to accompany me eases my worries—and actually brings cheer wherever I am in the world. Timed and curated for whatever your travel situation, here are some audiobooks you must have on hand.
9 Audiobooks That’ll Bring Cheer to Your Holiday Travels
8 hours and 28 minutes
Trip: On your way to a destination wedding
Yes, there’s still a sect of our population that loves weddings around the holiday season—and can you blame them? What better time to profess your love than during the most festive time of the year? While you’re headed out of town to one of the many weddings you’ll attend these next few months, turn on the audiobook for Jasmine Guillory’s swoon-worthy romance, THE WEDDING DATE. On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is stranded in an elevator with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend, Alexa Monroe. For Alexa, it’s a strange proposition but there’s something about Drew that’s hard to resist.
Read by Janina Edwards
6 hours and 11 minutes
Trip: On a last-minute trip out of town
Leave your travel plans to the last minute? Henry Quantum can relate. In fact, Henry spends all of December 23 on a quest to find the perfect last-minute Christmas present for his wife. Along the way, he encounters several distractions and even bumps into the one who got away…
Read by Candace Thaxton, Madeleine Maby, Kirby Heyborne
14 hours and 14 minutes
Trip: On a round-trip flight to London, England
Headed to London? Better yet—the lush and scenic English countryside? Ruth Ware’s white-knuckling thriller is set Cornwall, England. On a flight there and back, you’ll enjoy THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY. On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an addictive listen from the Agatha Christie of our time.
Read by Imogen Church
4 hours and 42 minutes
Trip: During a 5 hour lay-over
Don’t count the minutes of your layover, instead lose yourself in this exceptional audiobook. In THE TIME KEEPER, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift, time. After spending centuries in a cave, forced to listen to those seeking more day and years, Father Time returns to the world to find society dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began. Evocative and remarkably original, this is the perfect audiobook keep your mind off of a long wait.
Read by Dan Stevens
5 hours and 59 minutes
Trip: On a road trip with man’s best friend
For a drive home with your pup, Sigrid Nunez’s National Book Award-winning novel will provide the perfect entertainment. In this moving story of friendship, grief, and healing, a woman finds herself burdened with an unwanted dog after the death of her lifelong friend. But even with the threat of eviction looming—dogs aren’t allowed in her apartment building—the woman refuses to be separated from the dog and is increasingly obsessed with his care. THE FRIEND is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.
Read by Hillary Huber
19 hours and 3 minutes
Trip: On a multi-stop cross-country train ride
Clocking in at close to 20 hours, this audiobook from a former first lady will make great companion if you’re making a multi-stop trip. In her intimate and inspiring memoir, Michelle Obama reflects on her upbringing on the South Side of Chicago to her eight years in the White House. Warm, wise, and revelatory, BECOMING is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
Read by Michelle Obama
10 hours and 27 minutes
Trip: On a round-trip bus ride to visit friends
Craving a Hallmark-esque love story with unlikely coincidences and quirky characters? Bring your boring bus ride to life with this adorable audiobook. In ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, Laurie, who is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist, spots a man through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, and knows instantly he’s the one. When she’s reunited with her “one true love”—and learns he’s her best friend’s new boyfriend—what follows is 10 years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, and destinies reconsidered.
Read by Candace Thaxton, Madeleine Maby, and Kirby Heyborne
3 hours and 46 minutes
Trip: If you’re avoiding traveling by air
We get it, not everyone is cool with flying. If you've opted for a long drive or train ride instead of flying, tune into Stephen King’s riveting audiobook, ELEVATION. Set in our favorite fictional town, Castle Rock, a town puts aside their differences to help a resident with a strange affliction. A surprisingly upbeat novel, this story of hope and a small town coming together will surely lift your spirits!
Read by Stephen King
5 hours and 31 minutes
Trip: If you’re staying home for the holidays
For those holing up in their cozy abodes all season, the couple in Iain Reid’s Black Mirror-esque novel, FOE, might want to offer you some advice. For one, don’t open the door for strange men in suits. The strange man that visits them informs the husband has been randomly selected to participate in the OuterMore program which will take him very far away—and that's only the start of the strange events that unravel this couple's marriage.
Read by Jacques Roy